When it comes to peptides for skin, many might be wondering if they’re worth the high price point. After all, peptides seem to fly under the radar compared to other skincare ingredients such as Vitamin C and Retinol - but here’s what makes the best peptide products for skin cult favourites around the world.
What Is a Peptide?
What is a peptide in the first place? To put it simply, peptides are small chains of amino acids. Group enough amino acids together, and you get a protein. However, we’re not really at the protein stage - just the building block stage with peptides.
The best peptide products for skin work alongside other skin-nourishing ingredients to nourish all aspects of your skin - luminosity, moisture, and even anti-ageing.
What Do Peptides Do for Skin?
Peptides don’t all influence skin the same way, even though they have the same purpose: helping your skin look its best. What they actually do for skin depends on the type of peptide they are! There are five main types of peptides: signal peptides, carrier peptides, enzyme-inhibiting peptides, neurotransmitter-inhibiting peptides and antimicrobial peptides.
Signal peptides are able to literally send signals to skin cells, influencing them to behave a certain way, such as producing more collagen or hyaluronic acid, for example.
Carrier peptides are helpful peptides for skin when used in tandem with trace elements - if you see ‘copper peptide’ listed as an ingredient, that’s a type of carrier peptide. This type of peptide benefits skin by making it easier for skin to make use of these trace elements - they carry them where they need to go, hence the name carrier peptide.
Enzyme-inhibiting peptides stop certain enzymes from working in the skin - while this sounds kind of crazy, this type of peptide is the best at helping to fade dark spots. That’s because they stop the creation of excess melanin in the skin - the pigment responsible for dark spots and other types of hyperpigmentation.
Neurotransmitter-inhibiting peptides, also called neuropeptides, have the unique power to get in the way of muscle signals, relaxing them and providing a Botox-like effect. By essentially freezing those muscles in place, wrinkles don’t get a chance to form.
Antimicrobial peptides are helpful for rebalancing skin microbiome issues - this doesn’t just include helping to get rid of acne! They can support wound healing anywhere that skin is broken for healthier, more radiant skin.
What Are the Best Peptides for Skin?
We’ve rounded up a list of our 7 favourite peptides (and which skincare products you’ll find them in)!
This neuropeptide benefits the skin in more than just one way; Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 can restore skin and improve hydration as well as has the potential to reduce the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
La Mer The Renewal Oil
This nurturing oil from La Mer moisturises skin and fights against the signs of ageing with peptides.
This peptide is a blend of two skin-nourishing amino acids: Lysine and Arginine. Its speciality is preserving your skin’s essential collagen stores for skin that stays youthful and firm for longer. Because it’s an amino acid blend, this peptide can act like both a carrier peptide and a neuropeptide!
Fortify your skin with the power of peptides in this moisturiser from
Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 is one of the most famous and well-researched peptides out there; it also goes by the name Matryxl in some formulas. This incredibly powerful signal peptide has proven results when it comes to smoothing wrinkles and fighting other signs of ageing.
SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream
This anti-ageing cream from SK-II wards off wrinkles with Pitera and Peptides for ageless skin.
Another signal peptide that works well to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It works especially well alongside other peptides to lend an overall renewed and radiant look. It’s one of the best peptides for skin tightening and anti-ageing!
SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Eye Cream
Strengthen the delicate skin around your eyes with the power of Peptides in this eye cream from SK-II.
Peptides aren’t just for anti-ageing - they’re amazing for calming down sensitive, irritated skin too. This particular peptide works by signalling pain receptors in your skin to tone it down a little, reducing the sensation of irritation and allowing your skin to heal.
Dermalogica Ultra Calming Serum Concentrate
Oat Extract, Peptides, and Probiotic ingredients work hard to soothe skin in this serum from Dermalogica.
The best peptide cream for sagging skin, or in this case, the best serum has to have Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5. This peptide protects your existing collagen stores, preventing them from breaking down as quickly and ensuring your skin is firmer for longer.
Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum
Vitamin C and Peptides work hard to firm skin and ward off wrinkles!
One of the best peptides for skin tightening is this one right here: Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2. This peptide stimulates collagen and elastin in your skin, strengthening them and tightening skin for a firmer, youthful appearance.
Clarins Super Restorative Day Cream
Replenish essential moisture and stimulate collagen in your skin with this nurturing face cream from Clarins.
Now that you know why peptides are amazing for skin, will you get your beauty affairs in order and add these amazing ingredients to your skincare routine?
If you’re still trying to get a routine together - or don’t know which products to reach for to meet your skin goals - try our skin analysis!